Quebec Ready to Enforce Online Gambling Blacklist

Posted by admin | Casino Affiliates | Tuesday 31 May 2016 3:15 pm

Authorities in the Canadian province of Quebec are getting ready to enforce a blacklist of over 2,000 unregulated online gambling sites. It’s a controversial move that’s aimed at shoring up Loto-Québec, the provincial lottery, but it’s not without controversy.

Loto-Quebec officials have made no secret about what’s motivating their desire to block access to the illegal sites; it’s money.

According to a report on FlushDraw.net, the official view on the matter is that just 10% of Quebec’s market for online gambling is done via regulated means. In their eyes, that means that Loto-Quebec is missing out on 90% of its revenue potential.

While there has been some talk of offering licenses to online operators including Amaya Gaming, which is based in Quebec, so far nothing concrete has happened.

The ban itself is set to be enforced by the country’s ISP’s, which are slated to receive the blacklist within 30 days. ISP’s that fail to comply with the ban could be fined up to $ 100,000 per violation.

While the government of Quebec seems happy with the plan, there’s still some debate as to whether or not Loto-Québec even has the authority to enforce such a list.

Some critics have already pointed out that the ban could be a violation of Canadian censorship laws. Given that, it’s safe to assume that some sort of legal challenge will emerge.

Of course Quebec could enforce its blacklist and still wind up dealing with just as many unregulated online gambling sites as it’s dealing with today. That’s been the experience in European countries that have tried blocking online gambling sites.

Online gambling operators, at least the ones that knowingly serve illegal markets, are extremely adept at shifting domains and staying one step ahead of regulators. That’s a problem the government of Quebec might have a tough time fighting.

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Pennsylvania Lawmakers Waffle on Online Poker Bill

Posted by admin | Casino Affiliates | Sunday 29 May 2016 3:23 pm

Pennsylvania lawmakers have killed a bill that would have legalized Keystone State online poker in a vote of 107 to 81, but that might not be the end of the story.

In a chaotic turn of events, those same lawmakers turned around and immediately voted to reconsider the bill at a later date.

The confusion stemmed from an earlier decision by a committee to amend an existing online poker with provisions to expand video gambling terminals (VGTs) in the state.

Discussions were further clouded by lawmakers who weren’t exactly clear on the differences between VGTs  (which are standalone machines in bars and airports) and online gambling (which is done from a person computer or mobile device) and the companies that operate them.

One lawmaker event went so far as saying that he was voting against VGTs because he didn’t want, “Main Street” to have to support Wall Street. In his view, a barroom VGT adds more value to the community than a regulated online casino.

Other Keystone lawmakers were concerned that legalizing online poker would spell disaster for problem gamblers who might max out credit cards while indulging in their vice. That notion was quickly quashed by  Rep. George Dunbar who, “…wanted to address some things that not everybody understands.”

According to Cardplayer.com, Dunbar went on to point out that option is already available to gamblers of all kinds in Pennsylvania saying:

You can gamble online in Pennsylvania right now. Maybe not in this building because of firewalls, but I guarantee you, I can walk out of this building and play poker tonight at the Radisson Hotel. I can use a credit card to do it. What we are providing in this bill is consumer protection.

While it’s not exactly clear when the Pennsylvanie legislature will take up the issue of online poker again, it seems clear that VGTs will not be part of the conversation when they do.

Pennsylvania is currently America’s second largest regulated gambling market, behind Nevada, but ahead of New Jersey.

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Daniel Negreanu Says Poker’s Easier Than Ever

Posted by admin | Casino Affiliates | Friday 27 May 2016 3:14 pm

Daniel Negreanu is one of the best, if not the best, poker player in the world. So when Negreanu talks, the poker world listens.

On a recent posting on his popular blog on Poker Journal, however, the poker legend told his fans something they probably didn’t want to hear; earning a living as poker player is easier than ever.

While that statement would probably be considered trolling if it came from a lesser light, Negreanu went ahead and backed up his argument with some pretty solid reasoning.

Negreanu’s main point, that online play makes racking up experience easier than ever, is spot on. He points out that a pre-internet poker player would be lucky to log 30-35 hands an hour. With online play, and its ability to offer simulations play on as many tables as a player can handle, it’s possible to log 100′s of hands an hour.

Today’s players also have more options for gaining that experience than previous generations did, he added. After all, simultaneously playing dozens of international players from the comfort of your own living room was simply not an option for pre-internet players like Doyle Brunson.

In the old days, players like Brunson were limited to legal games in Las Vegas and Atlantic City, or unsanctioned games in backrooms and other sketchy spots. There’s definitely something to be said for that.

Negreanu also points out that today’s players have more educational tools to help them develop their game. Online poker academies and a dearth of poker books are at the fingertips of anyone with an internet connection and that, Negreanu says, is another game changer.

It’s worth noting that Negreanu wasn’t disparaging the current generation of poker players. He repeatedly noted that the level of play today is higher than it’s ever been.

At the end of the day, Negreanu is right (big surprise). There are simply more opportunities available today for would-be professional poker players to strike it out and make a living than there have ever been.

None of those tools, Negreanu says, is a substitute for the experience of true grinding.

 

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Lawmakers Ready to Vote on Atlantic City Bailout

Posted by admin | Casino Affiliates | Wednesday 25 May 2016 3:21 pm

New Jersey lawmakers are getting ready to vote on a $ 60 million bailout plan for Atlantic City. The proposed measure would buy the troubled casino town a few months of operating costs and avoid a takeover by the state government.

If approved, the plan would cover Atlantic City’s operating costs for five months, but it comes with a catch. Once the five months are up, city planners are required to present the state with a plan to balance their budget within five years.

It’s an extremely tall order for a city that’s facing new competition on all sides, but it’s one that Atlantic City politicians are ready to embrace. That’s because the bailout plan allows them to retain collective bargaining rights and more importantly, avoids a takeover of the local government by the state.

In an interview with NewsWorks.org, Atlantic City Mayor, Don Guardian lauded the deal saying:

I don’t believe that we need a state takeover, I didn’t think it was going to be effective. And I think, now, this type of partnership with the state helping us with finances but holding our feet to the fire to reduce our costs is how we move forward.

Guardian isn’t kidding when he says the state is, “holding our feet to the fire.” If Atlantic City is unable to balance its budget within the five year period, its city government will be obliged to relinquish control to the state government.

If approved, the deal will head to Governor Chris Christie’s desk where he is expected to sign it into law.

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Howard Lederer Issues Black Friday Apology

Posted by admin | Casino Affiliates | Monday 23 May 2016 3:14 pm

Howard Lederer, a man who bears tremendous personal responsibility for the Black Friday debacle, says he’s sorry. Lederer issued the apology late last week in the form of a statement on Daniel Negreanu’s Full Contact Poker journal.

In the statement, Lederer takes full responsibility for his role in bringing down the US-facing online poker industry and his own failures in making certain Full Tilt was being run in a proper manner saying:

I take full responsibility for Full Tilt’s failure to protect player deposits leading up to Black Friday. The shortfall in player deposits should never have happened. I should have provided better oversight or made sure that responsible others provided that oversight. I was a founder in the company that launched Full Tilt, and I became the face of the company’s management in the poker community. Many of our players played on the site because they trusted me.

The apology had a distinct sincerity that was lacking in previous Lederer apologies, which ran on Poker News in the form of series of videos that came to be known as the Lederer Files and were poorly received by the poker community. In those interviews, Lederer seemed to blame everyone but himself for the issues that led to Full Tilt’s downfall.

Lederer’s change of heart occurred, according to Lederer, when a friend confronted him at a wedding and told him that he had been all too happy to accept the glory that came with Full Tilt’s rise, but none of the responsibility.

Whether by coincidence or design, happened the same week that Full Tilt Poker formally merged with PokerStars, ending the legendary site’s notorious run.

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Regulators Nail Boylesports for Offensive Crucifixion Ad

Posted by admin | Casino Affiliates | Saturday 21 May 2016 3:23 pm

Boylesports, a UK-based bookmaker, is in hot water with advertising regulators after running an offensive, crucifixion-themed advertisement during Holy Week.

The advertisement in question, which was e-mailed to Boylesports players, featured a bleeding hand that had been nailed to a piece of wood (which was clearly a cross) with a sign hanging from it reading, “BETWEEN 5-25 QUID.”

Accompanying the graphic was text reading:

In memory of the dearly departed JC, we are offering you a sacrilecious [sic] bonus this Easter weekend … So don’t just sit there gorging your own body weight in chocolate, that’s disrespectful. Get on Boylesports Gaming and get your nailed on bonus.

Not surprisingly, the advertisement was not a big hit with Boylesports Christian customers, one of whom filed a complaint with the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), which was similarly unimpressed.

Boylesports response to the complaint was nearly as sophomoric as the original ad. Company officials actually defended both the timing and content of the ad by saying that crucifixions were common during the time of Christ. They went on to say that the crucifixion in their ad wasn’t that crucifixion, merely a generic depiction of a crucifixion.

The ASA didn’t buy that argument for a second and scolded the bookmaker in a report saying:

We considered the offence was likely to be particularly strongly felt by those of the Christian faith at Easter, when the imagery would have a particularly strong resonance. We considered that the ad was likely to cause serious offence and concluded that it was therefore in breach of the [advertising] code.

While the ad was definitely in poor taste, it’s definitely proven to be good PR. After all, Boylesports got what amounts to a slap on the wrist for a seasonal ad that they probably wouldn’t have run again anyways and loads of free press in the process.

Well played, Boylesports. Well played.

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Is This Missouri Daily Fantasy Sports Bill a Gift to Big Operators?

Posted by admin | Casino Affiliates | Thursday 19 May 2016 3:17 pm

Missouri lawmakers recently passed a measure that both legalizes and regulates daily fantasy sports sites in the Midwest state, but not everyone is happy about the new law.

A group of smaller daily fantasy sports operators are saying that H1941 is tailor made for DraftKings and FanDuel and will drive their competitors out of business. A group of those competitors have even gone so far as to say that H1941 will create a DFS duopoly in the state.

On its face, the bill seems pretty innocuous, but the devil is in the details. In this case, those details stipulate that Missouri-facing DFS sites must:

  • Pay an annual licensing fee of $ 10,000 or 10% of net revenue (whichever is smaller).
  • Submit to a background check – a background check that comes with a $ 50,000 fee.
  • Pay an 11.5% tax on net revenue.
  • Submit to an an annual third-part audit.

These requirements won’t be much of a bother for the industry’s two heavy hitters, DraftKings and FanDuel, but they’re a major burden for smaller operators.

Even worse, these smaller operators say that their interests are not being represented by the FSTA (Fantasy Sports Trade Association), a daily fantasy sports industry trade group. To counteract that dynamic the smaller operators have formed their own group, the Small Businesses of Fantasy Sports Trade Association (SBFSTA).

In a recent press release, SBFSTA co-founder Alex Kaganovsky spoke about how recent legislative efforts to regulate DFS have been controlled by the FSTA saying:

We appreciate that the legislature wants to address this issue but this bill will kill us…the FSTA (Fantasy Sports Trade Association) tells legislators that they are representing small businesses but in reality they are representing the interests of the two Goliaths in the industry, FanDuel and DraftKings.

Kaganovosky went on to say that the SBFSTA is actually in favor a regulated daily fantasy sports industry, they just want to make certain that the interests of smaller operators are represented in those regulations.

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India Takes Baby Steps Toward Regulated Online Sports Betting

Posted by admin | Casino Affiliates | Tuesday 17 May 2016 3:18 pm

Regulated online sports betting has made its way to India, only not quite in the way you might be imagining. The action in this new era of sports betting will take place in a dedicated lounge/bookmaker shop, not on a home PC.

It’s a strange situation, but the gambling industry has long been known for its creative use of workarounds.

The new home of Indian sports betting resides in a dedicated gaming zone in the city of Gangtok, which is the capital of the state of Sikkim. (Sikkim is sandwiched between the countries of Nepal and Bhutan in Northern India.

The whole operation is run by Golden Gaming International, an Indian gaming outfit that’s been running regulated keno and virtual horse racing in Sikkim since December, according to a report on CalvinAyre.com.

Golden Gaming International is building on that base by adding cricket, tennis and football to the mix. There is, however, one catch.

All of this “online” wagering is done in the confines of what most of the rest of the world would consider to be a standard bookmaker. Punters can come in off the street, place their wagers on betting terminals.

While the operation might not sound especially exciting to anyone who lives in a country that already offers regulated sports betting, but it’s a significant milestone in India. It’s also the first step towards the opening of a potentially massive new sports wagering market.

Indian lawmakers recently took some preliminary steps towards establishing regulating sports in the county, but they’re still a long ways from anything like a national strategy. Until then, punters will have to be satisfied with workarounds like the one Golden Gaming International has come up with.

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5Dimes Investigation Not Happening in Costa Rica

Posted by admin | Casino Affiliates | Sunday 15 May 2016 3:19 pm

After months of rumors on online forums and the gambling media, Costa Rican government officials have thrown cold water on the suggestion that they are investigating 5Dimes for money laundering.

The story, which seemed odd given the cozy relations between the Costa Rican government and the online sports betting behemoth, was the result of rumors posted on online forums.

Rumors of a supposed investigation were likely based on an actual investigation of 5Dimes employee in March. That investigation, however, had nothing to do with 5Dimes and was centered around suspicious money transfers to Malta and Dubai.

In an interview with the Costa Rican newspaper, La Nacion the country’s deputy prosecutor in Costa Rica’s Office of Money Laundering took pains to make clear that his office was not investigating 5Dimes. Not only is 5Dimes not under investigation, he said, but gambling is not illegal in the country.

Costa Rican officials also made it clear that the investigation that isn’t happening also didn’t have anything to do with US bettors. (The US Homeland Security Department recently investigated 5Dimes for paying off US-based bettors with Amazon.com gift cards.)

Costa Rica, which is known as a pretty “live-and-let-live” place, has been more than happy to play host to lots of online sportsbooks over the years. The country is also happy that since 2012, it’s been collecting a payroll tax from Costa Rican-based bookies that’s a sliding scale based on the size of the company’s payroll.

That same Costa Rican official said the country would, however, cooperate with Homeland Security on issues involving drug trafficking and terrorism.

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World Poker Fund Betting on In-Flight Gambling

Posted by admin | Casino Affiliates | Friday 13 May 2016 3:18 pm

Will in-flight gambling be the gaming industry’s next frontier? That’s what the folks at the World Poker Fund think and they’re working with the Iowa Tribe of Oklahoma to make that airline passengers will be able to gamble in the sky as soon as possible.

The company’s ambitious in-flight gambling strategy is set to launch in Q1 2017, but the first steps towards adding gambling to in-flight entertainment packages starts in just 90 days. That’s when the Iowa Tribe of Oklahoma launches their regulated online poker offering, PokerTribe.com/.gov.

PokerTribe is power by software from Universal Entertainment Group (UEG). This week, World Poker Fund acquired a 49% stake in UEG and will be using that as the platform for its in-flight gambling products.

In-flight gambling will only be available on international flights and only after the plane’s been in the air for at least two hours. Airborne gamblers will be required to deposit at least $ 25 in an account with a site called InSkyCasino.com, which will be operated by the Iowa of Oklahoma Tribe.

Passengers who choose the in-flight gambling option will be able to play poker and casino games on their personal, mobile devices. Those players will also receive free Wifi for the duration of the flight.

While the world of in-flight gambling is definitely uncharted territory, World Poker Fund and UEG are extremely optimistic about the project. Their initial projections, based on a potential pool of 3 billion international travelers.

If just 20% of those travelers choose to gamble, the company stands to make $ 143 million in gross revenue from the project.

 

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